Marni Yang's lawyer says DNA, fingerprints from Rhoni Reuter murder scene are not from police investigators

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Thursday, September 10, 2020
Marni Yang's lawyer says DNA, fingerprints from Rhoni Reuter murder scene are not from police investigators
An attorney for Marni Yang says he will announce new details Thursday about DNA evidence in the case.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An attorney for Marni Yang announced new details Thursday about DNA evidence in the murder of Rhoni Reuter.

Yang, a former real estate agent, was convicted of killing Reuter in 2007. Reuter was the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle.

RELATED: Woman convicted in ex-Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle girlfriend's death requests new trial

Yang's attorney Jed Stone said DNA evidence and fingerprints were recovered from the scene. Stone said the state has previously said the DNA and fingerprints belonged to police investigators.

Stone said Thursday that the analysis shows they do not belong to the investigators and instead belong to an unknown male.

"The only physical evidence from the crime scene showing who was there are fingerprints that are unknown male and DNA on shell casings found within inches of the body of Ms. Reuter that are also DNA from an unknown male," Stone said.

There were also fingerprints from the doorknob inside Reuter's apartment.

Stone pointed out that the shooter would have been taller than Reuter, too. Yang is barely 5-feet tall.

Yang is serving a life sentence for the murder. Her lawyers say the confession was coerced, and Yang is innocent.

"Let us be clear; Marni Yang's prints are nowhere to be found. She wasn't there. She is innocent," Stone said. "It is essential we determine who committed this crime."

Prosecutors said that Yang lashed out in a jealous rage against Reuter, as she also dated Gayle at one point.

RELATED: Marni Yang's lawyers now have access to evidence, involving Shaun Gayle, they say will prove her innocence

Gayle played 11 seasons with the Bears, including the 1985 Super Bowl championship season.

Police cleared Gayle as a suspect early in the investigation.

"We are not going to litigate this in the media. However, we remind everyone that evidence released at trial shows Ms. Yang made statements that she wore gloves during the murder," a spokesperson said.

A court order signed Wednesday compels the state to share video of Gayle at a Deerfield barbershop the morning of the murder, which Yang's attorney said could also be important evidence.

In addition to trying to commute Yang's sentence, her attorney has also filed a petition asking that she be released from Logan Correctional Center because of the threat of COVID-19. They are still awaiting a response on that petition.